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Media Movies Upgrades Entertainment

New Study Finds Low Interest In Blu-ray 895

PHPNerd writes "A new consumer survey recently released chronicles the woes of the winner of the hi-definition format war: nobody wants it. While consumers were very happy to embrace the DVD standard when it came about because it brought a huge jump in quality over VHS, the pros of switching to Blu-ray are not as obvious. From the article: 'In contrast, while half of the respondents to our survey rated Blu-ray's quality as 'much better' than standard DVD, another 40% termed it only 'somewhat better,' and most are very satisfied with the performance of their current DVD players." Another reason cited was that a Blu-ray investment also dictates an HDTV purchase, something consumers are reluctant to do.'" Maybe it's also that line-doubling DVD players can be had for less than a hundred dollars.
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New Study Finds Low Interest In Blu-ray

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  • by Jabbrwokk ( 1015725 ) <> on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:40PM (#24513629) Homepage Journal
    If this is true, why is Wal-Mart pushing the Blu-Ray discs to the front of the electronics section? Because they're all going to push it on us anyway.
    • As I recall... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PC and Sony Fanboy ( 1248258 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:45PM (#24513719) Journal
      DVD appeared to be pushed on us as well. But ... at least it had some merit to it!
      • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) * on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:06PM (#24514201) Homepage Journal

        DVD appeared to be pushed on us as well. But ... at least it had some merit to it!

        Blue-ray has plenty of honest, actual merit; it is capable of about six times the visual detail, higher frame rates (so considerably better motion depiction) and a larger color space as compared to a DVD; in fact, it is so good that just as compact disks did for audio, a Blue-ray version of a film often reveals limitations of the original recording.

        The summary has it at least partially right: The problem isn't that Blue-ray isn't better, the problem is that without good source material, a large hi-def TV and a viewing arrangement where you can actually make out the additional detail, it is difficult or even impossible for a viewer to appreciate the extra capability. With the economy tanking, I rather doubt the first thing on everyone's list is to go out and get an HDTV.

        For those of us who do have them, though, and where the viewing arrangement is large enough to see all the detail, Blue-ray is not just "better", but far, far better and definitely the format of choice. I went extreme with my setup, and I don't regret it even a little bit. People who see movies and HD games on my system [] never leave thinking HD is a marketing scam.

        I am almost certain that HD and Blue-ray will do just fine; it's just that there's a ton of legacy hardware that people already like, and it'll have to get old and crufty in their sight before they upgrade, and the economy has slowed down what wouldn't have been all that quick a process anyway.

        • by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:16PM (#24514397)

          I've got a very nice 46" 1080p HDTV, and I do sit fairly close to it (under 10 feet away). Even so, I'm honestly not at all disappointed by the quality of DVD. I can see a difference between the 2 when I'm looking for it, but as soon as I forget about the fact that I am or am not watching an HD source and just go ahead and watch the content, I very quickly forget I'm watching DVD.

          • by letxa2000 ( 215841 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:37PM (#24514799)

            Exactly. I have the exact same quality and size TV and while I don't have a Blue-ray to compare it to, I never find myself watching a DVD and thinking, "Man, I wish I had better quality."

            • I have a large-screen 1080-capable projection TV, but it does not have HDMI inputs. I wish that I had better quality, but with only analog inputs, Blu-Ray movies may limit the quality that I can view so that it is little better than DVD.

              If Blu-Ray could actually guarantee me better picture quality, I would buy it. But, instead, their idiotic copy-protection schemes are having the opposite effect. Maybe when my current television dies and I am forced to upgrade to something with HDMI, or maybe when Blu-ray players drop to $50, I might pick one up. Until then, there is no compelling reason to do so.

          • by dimeglio ( 456244 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:38PM (#24514813)

            To me, the theatre experience is only 20% image quality, 20% sound. Up to 60% is the fact that I can give the movie 100% of my attention. Viewing at home, there's always some distraction (example phone, doorbell, kids, pets) preventing me from getting the full viewing experience. I'm not surprised to hear about blu-ray adoption problems. To me it's quite an investment to slighly improve the 20% part of the entire movie experience.

            • by harp2812 ( 891875 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:52PM (#24515127)

              I have almost the exact opposite view on home vs theater...

              Why go to a theater and deal with lines, bad food, people talking, sticky floors, crappy seats, no alcohol, and the inability to pause if I need to go to the bathroom when I can relax at home with a beer in peace & quiet?

              I figure I'll probably grab a PS3 to use as a blu-ray player eventually, but I'm the crowd who figures DVD really isn't too bad in the mean time.

          • For quite a lot of us, a TV is something that is 20" to 30" tops and while VHS really is bad enough that a DVD makes a difference, investing in a larger system is so low on the list of priorities (down there with buying dental floss for my cat) that the point of switching to BluRay (didn't they have any "e" on their keyboard in the marketing dept that came up with this?) is pretty much nil.

            My computer screen is larger than my TV screen. I spend more time working on it than watching TV. A 40+" TV just doesn't make sense to most people I know (and we're definitely not starving students).

            Nah, just kidding, I'm really looking forward to seeing HD ads for Preparation H.

        • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:19PM (#24514457)

          It also runs into the good enough problem. VHS was not good enough- rewinding was a pain, quality was poor and degraded over time. SDTV is good enough- most people are perfectly happy with non-HD sets. Other than churning out more profit for manufacturers, there's no reason for most people to spend the money on bluray- DVD is good enough for them, and better from a price perspective.

          Bluray is going to be dead as a video medium. Now from a data storage POV- DVD is not good enough. While I have no plans to ever buy an HDTV or bluray player, when the price comes down to 100 I'd buy a bluray burner for my PC.

        • by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:59PM (#24515295) Homepage

          The problem is price. Not of the Blu-Ray players (which are relatively reasonable), and not of HD televisions (which more people are buying anyway), but of the media.

          Simply put, a Blu-Ray title typically costs 50% to 100% more than it's DVD predecessor. With high gas prices and reduced wages and many families struggling to make ends meet, does it make sense to spend $30 a pop for a movie?

          High-definition disks, you see, were the industries the secret strategy behind rationalizing higher DVD prices. Consumers have historically resisted every attempt by the industry to raise prices, and competition has in fact lowered them. As such, we pay much less for a DVD today that we did a decade ago, despite that fact that inflation should have boosted the price of a disc along with most everything else.

          A new format kills two birds with one stone: It provides a rationale for higher prices for a higher quality product and --not insignificantly-- lets us pay for our favorite movies yet again in yet another format.

          Unfortunately for the industry, however, we're not taking the bait. Plus we now have other options, like HD cable VOD, or AppleTV/iTunes HD downloads. They're not quite as good as Blu-Ray, true... but they're also only five or six bucks apiece.

          If the Blu-Ray folk want to sell players and discs, they need to drop media prices so that the HD version is only a slight premium over the SD DVD. Say two bucks, max.

          As is, they're wanting to screw the consumer and, as always, make him pay for the privilege.

      • Re:As I recall... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mweather ( 1089505 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:11PM (#24514283)
        So going from 480i to 480p had merit but going from 480p to 1080p does not?
        • Re:As I recall... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:39PM (#24514823)

          So going from 480i to 480p had merit but going from 480p to 1080p does not?

          If you are comparing original 480i DVD players to newer progressive scan and even upscaling DVD players then yes. Because when your original 480i dvd player wears out a new progressive scan one can be had for under $100, and there is no real point in buying one that isn't progressive scan, the difference to PQ isn't huge, but its cheap and even your old TV can probably benefit.

          With bluray/1080p you not only have to replace your TV (and get one that's at least 46", plus a relatively expensive bluray player) to benefit from 1080p, so sure 1080p will have merit when your TV dies and you need to replace it, and bluray players cost $100.

          Trouble is, by the time that happens, will bluray still even be relevant?

          Plus, DVDs are pevasive now, and can be shared with friends, used in many cars, portable dvd players, laptops, the tv at the beach. A bluray disc will only work at home on your home theatre. Its going to be a while (if it ever happens) that you'll have bluray support everywhere else. And thanks to drm you can't even downsample them down to DVD for your other players.

        • Re:As I recall... (Score:5, Informative)

          by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:56PM (#24515235) Homepage Journal

          Yes and no.

          The 480i to 480p conversion wasn't a conversion of source material (ie DVDs didn't suddenly come out that were 480p60.) It was more a case of eliminating flicker on CRTs, and eliminating striping on LCDs and Plasmas. The source content on DVDs, for movies at least, has always been 480p24, munged using a system called "pulldown" that turned it into an interlaced i60 signal.

          (Interestingly, the same sort of thing is being applied to HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs, albeit with some smarter logic. Some high-end TVs are being produced that do a 1080p120 thing, where they'll upconvert the incoming p24/i60/p60 signal into a p120. It's still 1080p24 input.)

          But, yeah, the thing to realize about the 480p to 1080p move is that while it's a noticeable improvement in quality for some of us, DVD is already at a remarkably high quality on LCD and Plasma displays, and while virtually everyone can see both side by side and tell the difference, it's not actually obvious to many people what they're missing unless they're actually seeing the two.

          Case in point: When I got my HD player at Christmas, I also got a variety of HD discs and regular DVDs. Everyone in the household ooh'd and aah'd over Blade Runner and 2001, and with good reason, the HD transfers looked fantastic.

          Then everyone watched Live Free or Die Hard. Nobody said anything for the entire duration of the film. It looked superb. At the end, I commented "Yeah, it's a shame it isn't currently available on HD DVD" at which point my wife and my mother both turned to me and said "Wait, that wasn't HD?"

          To me, I could see it wasn't. But I also appreciated why they thought it was. It looked great.

          The situation is such that I seriously doubt there's any point in ever going better than 1080p. I don't think the vast majority of people will ever see a difference, not without TVs so large and close they're practically eye-bleeding.

    • by Sunshinerat ( 1114191 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:46PM (#24513739)

      It is pushed in front because the revenue is bigger. Simple economics.

      Now, one thing I have learned in my life that at some point you do not need the best, biggest and hippest to [do your job|be happy].
      Commercialism is for businesses not for consumers.

    • by monxrtr ( 1105563 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:53PM (#24513919)

      It's being pushed, but people don't want it. They increased the price, added more invasive stricter DRM technology, and inserted unskippable commercials at the beginning of the discs. I'm sure tens of millions must groan, if not cursing out load, as their dvd skip, forward and menu buttons fail, as they are spammed with a commercial. That's gotta kill multiple future sales at the margin, every time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dashesy ( 1294654 )
        That is very true. Like many forums, TV is dead after being stuffed with Ad, SPAM, SCAM,... At least I want ad-free home entertainment, just to see the movie
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:29PM (#24514623)
          Agreed. I can't even watch TV anymore. The commercials get me so mad that I start yelling. Commercials are so stupid that watching them is insulting to my intelligence. Then after being assaulted for 5 minutes the show starts again. Sometimes they don't split commercials evenly, so that you might have 5 mins of commercials, then 2 mins of show and then another commercial break, AARRGH!!

          Commercials on TV is one thing, but when (on the RARE occation) I pay $10 + popcorn, drink, etc., to go the theater, I am treated to a nice bout of commercials before the movie. That should be illigal IMHO. I have no problem with them showing trailers before a movie, but to show a commercial about the newest F150 truck, give me a break.

          On the other hand, watching downloaded content that is commercial free, and I can start/stop when I want is a joy. I never have things that I can't skip, but for the VAST majority of downloaded content, there is nothing to skip. I think that the studios really need to deliver a better product to people that acually pay for content. Forcing them to watch commercials or even a trailer on a dvd is not good customer service (especially when you watch a movie from several years back and you get trailers/commericals for out-of-date stuff).
    • by qbzzt ( 11136 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:57PM (#24514001)

      Of course they're going to push it on us. They want us to buy Blue-Ray players, and hopefully replace our DVD movie library with brand new Blu-Ray discs. That would bring in a lot of revenue.

      But we consumers are not the mindless drones that marketing execs would like us to be. Usually when we buy something, it provides us with a benefit. In this case, the benefit isn't big enough to qualify.

      DVDs have quick seek and are computer readable (with the right software). These two factors make them better than VHS. Blu-ray does not have anything comparable, and picture quality with DVD is more than adequate for more people.

    • by jgarra23 ( 1109651 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:30PM (#24514657)

      Gas prices are up. Economy is in the stinker. I can't remember the last vacation I took. Saving every penny to make those payments. Yea, I'm gonna buy a new dvd player & a new tv just so I can perceive better quality slightly.

      How about fixing the roof? Or saving for my kids' college funds? That's why we Americans are pressured put everything on credit! So we can buy the latest n' greatest!

      Yea, right. I have no need for this currently. All it will do is enhance how I waste my time. I can do that with weed or a beer instead of being able to count the blemishes on some football player's neck.

  • Personally... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:41PM (#24513639) Homepage Journal

    I'm a HD fan - in fact, I rarely watch SD any more when it comes to OTA programming. I just don't seem to care much any more about HD over DVD quality programs. As the summary says, line doublers while they aren't great (nowhere close to 1080p quality) work 'okay'. I held off because of the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD battle, and that showed me that there really wasn't a need for either.

    That, and the fact that many Blu-Ray discs take 90+ seconds to go from insertion to movie watching is just stupid. If I buy a copy of a movie I want to watch it, not play with it. A 'quick-play' mode (and note that I'm not even talking about watching mandatory trailer-crap, just getting the damn thing 'loaded') would dramatically increase the odds that I'd buy into it.

    I'll probably pick one up when my current DVD player finally dies... but there's no compelling reason to do so before it does. And this from a self-confessed geek who at least used to have a ton of home theatre stuff.

    • HD rocks! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PC and Sony Fanboy ( 1248258 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:47PM (#24513779) Journal
      I'm not a big fan of blu-ray. Just so long as my TV-and-Movie rips from TPB and the green demon keep coming in HD, I'll never bother getting a real Blu-ray drive. Why bother paying for a physical product, when you can pay (or not) for an electronic one? Especially when it is easier to find HD downloads than Blu-ray discs.
    • Re:Personally... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Zantac69 ( 1331461 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:49PM (#24513813) Journal
      My main issue has been the 90+ seconds to load a movie - thats absolutely insane. I hate the normal trailer and flashy interface crap that is on standard DVDs...but unless I can pop in a DVD and run in a matter of seconds, then I am certainly not moving.

      Is the quality better? OF COURSE! But then again...I have an upconvert player and it looks good too.

      • Re:Personally... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dragoness Eclectic ( 244826 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:11PM (#24514297)

        Blame Hollyweird's obsession with DRM protection on their movies for that. The Blu-ray players have to do a shitload of self-authentication against internal keys, check for signs of tampering, and load the goddamn stupid JVM before you can view your movie.

        *curses whoever thought a JVM was a good idea for an embedded consumer device*

        The delay from pressing the 'on' button to getting something on the screen was a big issue when I was working with a certain consumer electronics company on the firmware, but it was very difficult to reduce it further because of all the required DRM/anti-tampering crap. The actual embedded kernel boots very quickly.

    • Re:Personally... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:08PM (#24514235) Homepage

      90 seconds? that's a short one.

      I had just came from a service call with a client. his Sony 300B Bluray player took 6 minutes from on to being able to use the menu on the Disc for "vantage point" that is fricking insane.

      I have another client that stopped buying Blu Ray discs because his player does not give enough of a quality difference to overshadow his Denon DVD player that has a decent quality scaler attached to it. (decent quality means $1100.00 or more)

      I am right there in the trenches with users that have >108" screens and 1080p projectors sitting on leather seating that costs more t han Most slashdotters complete AV setup. ($12,000 for a theater chair is high end btw) these people pay over $10,000 for their speakers and THEY dont see any worth in blu ray.

    • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:19PM (#24514455) Homepage Journal

      I have a HD player, Toshiba's AH3. Yeah, that means HD-DVD. Got it for $99 with eleven free movies. Got a bunch more when HD-DVD got shut down for less than $100. Still work. Better yet, compared to my friend's PS3 I don't have a single HD-DVD that forces me to watch anything other than the movie. His movies, well its pot-luck but many play ads for up coming movies that don't allow skip.

      Still I have a 61 HD tv (Samsung LED DLP fwiw) and with a good upscaling player I can still tell a difference between DVD and HD-DVD. Dune and Blade Runner are good examples of being able to pick out details on. Especially in clothing and other textured items that just seem to blur on vhs and even base DVD. HD OTA looks better than some dvds! Yet with even a great TV, good sound, and the ability to get HD satellite, I can't see getting a new player

      The real issue is two parts. The players are obnoxiously priced and the movies aren't far behind. With the ability to rent them I could see getting a service like Netflix but honestly I am not going to fork out nearly four hundred dollars for a media player. Get the price of the player down and do it quickly or simply write it off. Sony may have bought off the studios and if the rumors are true even Toshiba but they bought nothing if they cannot price the players and the movies into a realm where people don't even have to think about it. I have no qualms buying movies at CD prices... but at twenty four and higher its not worth it. Maybe Disney films for the kids as they will watch them for years, but regular movies? Get real. Its just a movie.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:41PM (#24513659)

    ... that HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray wasn't the next Beta vs VHS, but rather, the next Laserdisc vs CED.

  • line doubling? (Score:5, Informative)

    by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:41PM (#24513661) Homepage Journal

    Q: What exactly is a line-doubling DVD player?
    A: Progressive scan from an interlaced source. []

    Hardly something that should be mentioned... you know, we've had progressive for quite a long time now, and from experience most DVDs are interlaced.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I think the posts talking about line doubling are actually referring to video scaling []
    • Re:line doubling? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Silverlancer ( 786390 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:56PM (#24513971)
      Almost all DVDs are progressive, not interlaced; they're usually soft or hard telecined, but the actual content is progressive. Native interlaced DVDs are reserved for things like concerts that were actually recorded with interlaced cameras.
    • Re:line doubling? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Wordplay ( 54438 ) <> on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:02PM (#24514113)

      I don't think you're on-target here. That is the classic use of the term "line-doubler," which is why the DVD players in question don't usually call themselves that. They're usually called "upconverting."

      In this case, they're not deinterlacing a signal--i.e. combining an every-other-line-per-frame signal into an every-line-per-frame signal. Instead, they're interpolating a higher resolution signal from a lower resolution one. Specifically, they're taking a 640x480 signal up to a 1280x720 or 1920x1080 signal. That may include deinterlacing as well, if the original signal's interlaced and the output's progressive. And it's true that progressive-scan players also deinterlace. Nobody would call them line-doublers though, I don't think.

      Thing is, your HD TV does this as well, assuming it takes a 480i/p signal. It has to in order to display that signal at the TV's native resolution of 720p, 1080i, or 1080p.

      So the question of whether an upconverting player makes a damned bit of difference comes down to this: Who has the better upconverting algorithm, the TV or the player?

      If you have a great TV and a crappy player, it's possible an upconverting player can hurt your picture, not help it. In that case, run the lower-res signal to the TV and let the TV upconvert. This is similar to how, in the early 90s, sometimes it was better to run composite video instead of S-Video from your Laserdisc player to your TV, because your TV did a better job of comb filtering than the player did.

      My basic take on upconverters, assuming your TV isn't made by Coby or similar, is that if you get them for free in the DVD player, awesome. If not, don't waste your money.

      Regarding DVDs, my experience is that most film-original DVDs aren't interlaced, and most/all video-original DVDs are.

  • by Ngarrang ( 1023425 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:42PM (#24513673) Journal

    Given the huge price difference between an upsizing DVD/VHS player and a Blu-Ray player, and the higher cost of the movies on Blu-Ray...I am not surprised. My movies on DVD look just fine to me (upsized to my HDTV, no less). My surround sound didn't stop working with the invention of Blu-Ray, so they all sound just as great as 2 years ago.

    I will wait for the $50 players to arrive.

  • Prices Don't Help (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:42PM (#24513687)

    With players at $400 and discs at $30 a pop, Blu-ray is a lot less appealing, even for those with an HDTV. Plus, standard-def DVDs look remarkably good with upconverting players.

  • by alain94040 ( 785132 ) * on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:43PM (#24513693) Homepage

    I don't buy the conclusions of this article. There is a clear difference in quality with true HD versus DVD. But it's true that at some point, you can't tell the difference anymore, so nobody cares. Sort of like why does anyone want a 4 GHz Pentium processor for Microsoft Office, is that really useful?

    The same will happen for HD for maybe 10 years: there will be only minor tweaks, prices will fall, but no new jump in quality. What I see (hope) as the next jump is "experience immersion". When I take a picture or short movie with my digital camera, I want the audience to fell exactly what I felt. When I hike a mountain at 5,000 meters, it's freezing, breathing is hard... I snapped a picture, but you can't see what experience it was. I'm willing to wait another 10 years, but this has to happen at some point. It's all about sharing our experiences, after all.

    Alain -

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jabbrwokk ( 1015725 )
      I agree with you, except for this:

      Sort of like why does anyone want a 4 GHz Pentium processor for Microsoft Office, is that really useful?

      It might come in handy for that idiot who keeps sending you doc files with 2 gigs of embedded pictures.

    • by philspear ( 1142299 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:17PM (#24514411)

      When I hike a mountain at 5,000 meters, it's freezing, breathing is hard... I snapped a picture, but you can't see what experience it was.

      If you're wondering why no one wants to come over to see your pictures of your latest hike, maybe it's cause you're turning the AC way up and partially suffocating your guests?

  • by Inglix the Mad ( 576601 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:43PM (#24513699)
    People thought the same at the beginning of DVD, or worse.

    DVD Will Fail []
    • by sm62704 ( 957197 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:08PM (#24514231) Journal

      People thought the same at the beginning of DVD, or worse.

      The difference is that DVD has a lot of benefits besides improved picture quality; no rewinding, you can choose scenes and go there instantly, "pause" doesn't leave ugly artifacts (nor do FF and Rewind), Multilingual subtitles (with the dynamics they use in movies these days where the music is ear splitting and the voices are muted, it's necessary) etc.

      The only benefit to BluRay is the picture quality, and it is offset by some decidedly backward steps (one commenter earlier mentioned 90+ second to watch a movie, wtf???)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by demonbug ( 309515 )

      Amazing - that guy was comically clueless (3 years to encode the movies to MPEG-2? Was he under the impression that all of the studios combined had only one computer to do this on?).

      The advantages of DVD over VHS were pretty immediately apparent - alternate languages, subtitles, random access, improved picture and (perhaps more importantly) sound quality, etc.
      BlueRay (or whatever the proper name is) compared to DVD just isn't that big of a change. You get... better picture quality (with investment of $1000+

  • Sony Hater (Score:5, Interesting)

    by N8F8 ( 4562 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:43PM (#24513701)

    I'll admit it, I'm a Sony hater. Been bit too many times by their crappy proprietary media, computers, interfaces and software. It's plain old DVD for me for the foreseeable future. In my mind BlueRay==Sony.

    • Re:Sony Hater (Score:5, Interesting)

      by neoform ( 551705 ) <> on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:01PM (#24514109) Homepage

      My reason is simpler.

      I can get DVDs for $4 to $6, sure, the new releases are still $20 to $25 on dvd, the blu-rays are all $35 and up. Sorry, but that's the equivalent of taking a family out to the movies. I can get 10 dvds for the price of one Bluray disk. Not worth it at all.

    • Re:Sony Hater (Score:5, Informative)

      by corychristison ( 951993 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:02PM (#24514115)

      LG GGC-H20L + AnyDVD HD + Blockbuster is your friend. ;-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by broeman ( 638571 )
      Sure, that's why you haven't touched a CD or a DVD in your lifetime either, right?

      I buy blu-ray regulary, and I see many on the Playstation 3 and HIFI forums who does the same. Why should I buy a movie on DVD anymore, when I can get it on blu-ray, and to the same price even (but that demands that you browse several sites to find the good offers). But I agree that blu-ray (at least at the moment) is in the category as laserdisc, unless there will be cheaper and faster players in the near future.
  • by Lord_Frederick ( 642312 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:44PM (#24513707)

    For me, the big selling point for upgrading to DVD was the ability to skip around to different scenes quickly, no rewinding and features like playing commentary from the director and cast. Blu-ray adds better sound and picture, but unless you also upgrade your entire A/V setup these benefits just aren't there.

  • by Phrogman ( 80473 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:45PM (#24513723) Homepage

    I have made the purchases of course, knowing that I would want to get an HDTV eventually, my wife and I went and bought a good one that should last us a while. We also got a PS3 after careful consideration, and I have to say the Blu-Ray movies are *much* better than regular DVD in my opinion. I don't regret either purchase to be honest, but they are expensive pieces of hardware at the moment I admit.

    Of course once you are used to it, the difference is mostly noticeable when you go *back* to viewing regular DVDs or TV broadcasts. The difference between the Digital TV and HDTV while still noticeable is much less and much less noticeable.

    I think its mostly that the cost is too high for most people to want to pay for. Geeks are probably more inclined to shell out for good equipment in the first place and I would expect them to be early adopters as a result.

    • Got the PS3 for gaming, but thought since I had it anyway, I might as well upgrade to Blu-ray where available in my Netflix queue.

      Compared to my upscaling DVD player with Faroudja chip, also connected to the HDTV via HDMI, the difference is really marginal.

      Given the downsides that Blu-ray for me currently has working copy protection and region coding, I'm not buying any Blu-ray discs for the time being.

  • by Silverlancer ( 786390 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:45PM (#24513729)
    A lot of the problem comes from the fact that Blu-ray quality quite often sucks. This has nothing to do with the format, and everything to do with the mastering process. I have seen countless Blu-rays that hardly have enough detail to justify a DVD release, let alone anything in HD; some examples include Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, the latter of which was done as a film transfer... and had dirt all over the film and jittered throughout the entire movie, along with the film grain, which seemed completely out of place for an animated feature.

    Its difficult to market a new format with better quality when in reality a large number of the discs are produced so badly that there's no reason to get them in place of a DVD.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brunascle ( 994197 ) *
      I've noticed the same thing, with HD-DVD. While HD can look great, it can also highlight flaws. In several different scenes in various movies, you can tell there's a problem with one of the cameras, because all of the shots coming from a certain position are noticeably grainier than the others, to the point where it actually looks worse (IMO) than it would on a DVD.
  • Price? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gutter ( 27465 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (eladsgar.nai)> on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:45PM (#24513735) Homepage

    Maybe it's the fact that they want 25-30 fucking dollars for a movie that I can get for $12 on regular DVD?

    I should be their target audience - I have plenty of disposable income, a 52" 1080p LCD, and a PS3, but I still don't buy much on blu-ray, cause it costs too damn much.

    Make it a 20% premium, and I'll buy it, but 100% is absurd.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alzheimers ( 467217 )

      Because you can't be modded +6, insightful, and because I don't want to be modded as "Redundant", I'll simply say


      Thank you.

    • Re:Price? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:01PM (#24514105) Journal

      I'm in a similar position - I also should be their target audience, but in my case, though the cost is stupid for me also, the biggest factor is actually the DRM. I can actually get the movies I care about fairly cheaply second hand. But I've only bought two because the sheer agony I have endured in trying to get them to play on my computer system, is simply too much. And it makes me sincerely angry with the technology that people who simply download the films don't have the problems that I've had to go through trying to play my legally bought copies.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by fyrie ( 604735 )

        I have a HTPC HDDVD/BluRay setup and I have to agree. Dealing with DRM is a constant struggle. Sometimes a disc will come out that won't be playable for weeks until the company who makes the player software issues a patch. My system is 100% HDCP. Why should I have to jump through hoops to play a frickin' movie?

  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) <> on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:46PM (#24513749) Homepage Journal

    I still can't figure out why people are so fascinated with video: higher resolution, faster refresh rates, more colors, etc. Yes, visuals are very important. But, in my opinion, video is the least important feature in the chain when it comes to movies. Sports is another thing, usually, but I'd even wager that I could win a debate regarding video versus audio in even live sporting events.

    Watch a great thriller: Hitchcock if you will. Turn off the audio and watch the movie. Turn off the video and watch the movie. Compare.

    Now, watch it again with BETTER audio (subwoofers, clear highs, decent surround sound). Compare.

    Radio still can thrill me with good audio productions. I still prefer most sporting events on the radio over the TV, personally, as one's imagination really builds a lot of emotional connection to the game.

    Yes, high res is amazing, and it can be "lifelike" but without a good audio backend, it's trash. Instead of spending tons of cash on the best video chain, spend a bit firming up your audio system, including minimizing reflections in your theatre room, reducing vibrations of the floor or furniture, etc. It's a worthwhile investment, and you'll get great music quality, to boot.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) * on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:47PM (#24513769) Journal
    I hardly watch television at all. Most of my video comes through youtube and similar sites. when I want to see a recent movie, I have the rental shop down the street. Does BluRay look better? Yes. Do I care? No.


  • Just another disc (Score:5, Insightful)

    by captaindomon ( 870655 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:47PM (#24513783)
    For most consumers, BluRay is just another kind of DVD that is more expensive, more confusing, and requires a new DVD player, when their own one works just fine, thank you. DVD was much better than VHS not because of quality, but because they lasted better and you didn't have to rewind and fast-forward them. The menu options are what caused the jump to DVD, not the quality. Mind you, this isn't my opinion, but it is the majority of consumers.
  • by Alcimedes ( 398213 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:49PM (#24513819)

    I wonder how many people got burned last time by a format "leap" that really wasn't that awesome. I get the impression that people are holding off until Blu-Ray is the only game in town. For now if it doesn't offer a huge increase in quality why invest the money?

    In two years there could very well be another dominant format (online digital downloads) which would mean all the Blu-Ray crap I buy now is part of an intermediary step in the digital evolution.

  • by NitroWolf ( 72977 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:50PM (#24513831)

    The quality of the program is largely irrelevant to me and many of my friends. Yes, it may be better quality, but I've been living off my home media server for several years now. I will never, ever, ever, ever go back to keeping physical media around. I can't stand it. I want all of my media available at any TV in my home and ready when I want it.

    If I have to have a disc to keep track of, you can forget it. I don't want the technology. I want my media available whenever, wherever and HOWEVER I want to play it. Blu-Ray offers NONE of the those things (and to be fair, neither did HD-DVD) and THAT is why I won't ever be adopting Blu-Ray. The players can drop to $10 and I still wouldn't buy one, simply because I do not care. I realize that I'm not in the majority currently... but as time goes on, more and more people are going to get sick of carrying around physical media.

    The popularity of MP3 players is a prime example... instead of toting around hundreds of CDs, why not just carry around one MP3 player. The same thing is happening with video, and the trend will only accelerate. The disc as a medium for entertainment is dying, if it's not dead already and only still twitching.

  • by scorp1us ( 235526 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:51PM (#24513865) Journal

    The whole idea of rotational, optical media is outmoded. I should be able to take a flash drive (any flash drive) to Blockbuster and load on my drive a movie where I can play it anywhere. And the only reason to do that, is because we don't have a lot of bandwidth for real-time streaming of perfect quality.

    Plastic media is prone to scratching, and carries with it some value based on on its manufacture, but the bits put on it. It is not reusable either.

    High Def Video-on-Demand is also working to obsolete rotational disk, however the limitation is that movie inventories are limited. Given that inventories will increase, this will fix itself.

    The only remaining space of rotational media is for portability, but flash drives can fit several movies. In addition flash drives are more rugged and portable than temperature and scratch-vulnerable rational media.

    Blu-Ray won the war that never needed to be fought.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:51PM (#24513869) Homepage

    "Maybe it's also that line-doubling DVD players can be had for less than a hundred dollars."

    True. Line-doubled DVD content played out via HDMI to a big LCD display isn't bad. There's a noticeable improvement when you go to an all-digital path to the display. As you'd expect, vertical edges get sharper. The transition from an analog video path to a digital one may provide more improvement than the next step of a data rate upgrade of Blu-Ray.

    Audio formats better than CDs never caught on. DVD-Audio, at 96 kHz with 24-bit samples, solves the problems of CD-quality audio. With CD audio, soft passages may be only 4 or 5 bit audio, with the high bits all zero. That's quite noticeable. But only classical music has soft passages any more. Few people buy DVD-Audio discs. (Of course, they have DRM, which is another issue.)

    Once Blu-Ray players drop to the point that they're no more expensive than DVD players, they will, of course, take over. But there's no big rush.

  • by nawcom ( 941663 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:52PM (#24513883) Homepage

    This is a little story on why I'm not buying anything Bluray anymore; not for a long time at least.

    I just bought a decent porno video, bluray edition, and I was all excited. You know, it was going be more realistic with the high definition, and I had to take care of things before the girlfriend gets back home. I started it up, and let the dumb plot intro finish up, and I was immediately disgusted with what I saw when the camera zoomed up a little closer to the face of the woman as she was.. um... doing an oral presentation. Zits. Discusting zits. All over! "This wasn't on the DVD version!" I thought. What the hell? Later in the video I actually noticed more visible stretch-marks, and a scar on this once-attractive 22 year-old female.

    Lesson learned: Save those VHS porn tapes men, for you will if not now, then in the future, miss the porno where the truth wasn't as vivid as it is now becoming. *shivers*

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:52PM (#24513885)
    ...such as "consumers were very happy to embrace the DVD standard when it came about because it brought a huge jump in quality over VHS."

    I'm not so sure that's the reason for consumer adoption - DVDs are more compact, less fragile, and you don't have to rewind them. I think it's all about convenience, not quality. Quality is just a bonus.
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:52PM (#24513893) Journal

    Landfill items like DVDs are dead, and broadband will kill them. Nobody should care about the next landfill item. I just recently bought a terabyte of storage for abotu $250. It connects via Ethernet--a stable standard that isn't going to change in any radical way. Same deal with USB, which is just as ubiquitous, and almost as stable.

    Why should I build a big collection of toxic plastic platters when I can order what I want and put it on my little SAN?

    Plainly, there are a lot of things that need to be worked out before everybody takes this path. The DRM people need to go away. Really. Just give it up already. We need broadband to become much more widespread.

    OK, I know there is that desire to have the "physical item" for some people, and nicely printed liner notes and things like that. Fine. Send us that, maybe even include your latest landfill format disk as an option, but as far as getting excited about the little plastic platter is concerned... no. It's not exciting. It's just data, and everybody knows that.

  • by PingXao ( 153057 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:53PM (#24513923)

    The average moron doesn't think there's a difference between "widescreen" and "HD". One step above that - the informed consumer - might realize there's a difference but has a hard time telling the difference in quality between an anamorphic-widescreen NTSC SD picture and a true 1080i one. Above that, there is an even more technically inclined bunch of folks who couldn't tell 1080i from 1080p if their lives depended on it. At the very top you have the uper-videophiles who know what they're doing and what they're seeing, and can tell the difference. This elite group is like "the gamer" in the PC market. They know what they want and will pay to get it. Everyone else is happy with Intel's onboard graphics.

    Add in the compression that some distributors put their signal through, and the difference between anamorphic widescreen and "real HD" becomes hard to distinguish even if you are able to discriminate between them.

    I like what the survey results reveal. It tells me BR players and recorders will be coming down in price a lot faster than the manufacturers had hoped.

    • by poot_rootbeer ( 188613 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @04:13PM (#24515563)

      The average moron doesn't think there's a difference between "widescreen" and "HD".

      Can you blame them?

      Whether by design or coincidence, the following technological transitions are all happening simultaneously right now:
      - from analog to digital transmission
      - from 4:3 to 16:9 aspect ratio
      - from standard to high definition
      - from CRT to LCD

      This, after a 50-year stretch where the only substantial enhancements to the television signal were the additions of color and stereo sound.

      Is it any wonder that consumers are confused about what's what?

  • Hmm.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobwoodard ( 92257 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:54PM (#24513925)

    Maybe it's because the players start at ~$280 and the new release movies are ~$35?

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:54PM (#24513937) Homepage

    With a subprime crisis going, and from what I read recently the downturn in the economy now threatening to make it into a prime crisis as well, people aren't interested in expensive players and discs that require a home with room for a large TV? I have a HDTV and play HD content on it and think it looks great - but it's an expensive luxury. And it doesn't turn a soggy movie into a great one either. I think the change will still happen because it's easier for the whole supply chain to have one format, they can easily push DVDs to a "legacy" option if only they cut back on the margins.

  • Well Duh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:56PM (#24513979) Homepage Journal

    I went out and bought an HD-DVD player when they where on sale. I got one $99.00 before Blue-Ray won.
    It is a nice DVD player and the movies that I watch on it are also good. But when I bought it the check out person was shocked that I paid so much for a DVD player! I tried to explain HD to them and got a blank stare. People think that DVDs are HD!
    Frankly DVDs look great on my HDTV. Not even the HD-DVDs but the regular ones.

    Yep I have a feeling that if it wasn't for the PS3 that we would be looking at Beta V2.0
    I have to wonder just how many none PS3 players are out there? It is hard to tell because from what I hear the PS3 is the best player.

  • DRM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mascot ( 120795 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:56PM (#24513985)

    The day they remove the DRM is the day I buy Blu-ray. It's just not worth my money paying for something that's designed to make it as difficult as possible to view what I buy in the quality I paid for.

    For the general population, I believe the reason many embraced DVD was the navigation. Instant chapter jumps, no rewinding. Yes, it had superior quality over VHS, but for anybody but the specially interested I don't think that was the killer feature.

    Blu-ray? Its *only* offer over DVD is resolution/quality on HD TV sets. And to get that you have to accept DRM that effectively means you're allowed to watch your movies for as long as "they" decide you can.

    Unfortunately, the masses didn't seem to learn much from the music DRM fiasko. But luckily Blu-ray lacks any kind of killer feature so it's not being accepted as quickly as it otherwise might have been.

    I'll stick to my HD media jukebox and MKVs for now, thank you very much. I would have bought a Blu-ray player for that money if it weren't for the DRM.

  • by jpatters ( 883 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:58PM (#24514025)

    The problem is not that 1080p is too small of an improvement, it is actually a vast improvement. The problem is that standard DVD has had more resolution than most people could see on their old sets. Specifically, when viewing a DVD that is "Enhanced for 16:9 Televisions" on a standard TV, the DVD player is discarding 25% of the resolution. It is surprising how much of a difference that makes. So what happens is that when people get their new HDTV set, the first thing they do is watch one of their existing DVDs and they see how much better it looks, and they are satisfied with that. That is enough of an improvement to wow them for the time being, especially since a Blu-Ray investment would cost them way more than the HDTV set did, considering that the player would be $400 and replacing a 20 movie library would be another $600. Blu-Ray players will have to get down to $100 and disks $15 before it will be a mainstream success.

  • by rtechie ( 244489 ) * on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:59PM (#24514049)

    The biggest problem with Blu-Ray is they're not releasing compelling products. They're releasing a 2 hour movie that loads slower with very marginally better video (because they used the same masters for the DVD) and exactly identical audio (very few BDs have a true 7.1 mix) that costs more. Why the fuck would people want that?

    The solution is to take advantage of the 50GB capacity and give people stuff they want. Like an entire TV season on a single disc. Collections of playable Java games. A search function in the menus (possible with BD!) for searchable clip segments. ex. type "little friend" into the menu of the Scarface DVD and you jump directly to the "Say hello to my little friend". Look at porn BDs to see what the studios should be doing.

  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:59PM (#24514051)
    People might have been calling the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD the next VHS vs. Betamax, but I didn't see it that way.

    Laserdisc has been around almost as long as consumer VHS. But, unlike when Disney and others dropped the cost of VHS movies to $20, Laserdisc stayed expensive, often $50 or more per title. Laserdisc remained a premium format, VHS became the common format, and VHS outsold LD in droves.

    Fast-forward to 2000 or so, and DVD is the next hot thing. Laserdisc is still being made, but it's almost done. DVD companies use their brains, and realise that if they want to make DVDs replace VHS and not just replace LD that they need to make them cheap. Thus, the price was common originally around $30, then $20, then $16.99, with some titles as low as $5.00 new, on sale. Great! Those who never saw LD and only saw VHS see a significant quality improvement as they get to use most of their 525 scan lines, instead of about half of them, and with the prices being competitive they see no reason to keep buying those old tapes.

    Jump to now. DVD is reasonably well established. DVD has replaced VHS like CD replaced cassettes. People know it, they like it. They see how nice it is, and how much it basically looks like regular broadcast TV, or Cable, or Satellite on their analog TVs, and how it looks pretty good on their digital TVs. Many people have amassed large collections of DVDs and the money spent in those purchases is fresh in the minds. Now, Sony wants everyone to buy an expensive player, expensive titles (twice or more the cost of DVDs), and all that they can really claim is that it's better looking. Trouble is, most of us still need analog converter boxes for HDTV, most of us still use composite cable or coax, and even those of us who are videophiles with huge collections don't necessarily see enough benefit to bother with the added expense. We have our consumer format in DVD and by all reaoning it's a great format with good quality. Why should we buy the elite format in Blu-ray when we've got something that already conveys the eye candy, and already has all of the special features, languages, multiple versions, and the like?

    Yes, I actually do collect Laserdiscs. I collect DVDs. I don't see how my older projector will make any use of the new format, and as projectors are expensive, HDMI-capable receivers are expensive, HDMI cables in 50' lengths are expensive, and what I have works wonderfully, I don't see any need to upgrade to anything new until something that I already have breaks, and I mean something more than my DVD player chunking out. Even then, I might buy a Blu-ray player if my DVD player breaks, but that would only be for the ability to possibly play blu-ray discs, and as the standards for Blu-ray aren't finalized, I still don't see any advantage to buying a player that might be obsolete by the time I get around to buying titles in its format.

    Blu-ray is the next Laserdisc, and the sooner that Sony realises this and markets it accordingly, the better it'll be for them and for the consumer.
  • by PseudoThink ( 576121 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:00PM (#24514071)

    With Blu-Ray on the scene, I can buy regular DVD movies at Sam Goody (often used) at greatly reduced prices. And it's going to be a *long* time before Blu-Ray has the market penetration to replace DVD's entirely (if ever). For 95% of the movies I watch, I don't care whether it's in HD or not, the content transcends the resolution. For the regular standard-definition DVD consumer, Blu-Ray is the best thing that could have happened. You don't have to own a Blu-Ray player to love what it's done for the cost of owning movies!

    PS - Have you seen how nice regular DVDs look when upscaled on a PS3? I'll look forward to that, if I ever choose to get myself one...

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:12PM (#24514323)

    How many of you have walked up to that "bad-ass" HD/player display demo to watch a few minutes of the loud action movie being demoed, only to find the really fast action scenes STILL end up pixeling and distorting in front of your eyes?

    I'm sorry, but I've yet to find an HDTV that has eliminated this completely. THIS is what has turned me off from dumping $2000+ into a new HD environment, so I'm not so certain the player/format is to blame here.

    Contrast this to the gaming world, if you saw image degradation in fast FPS sequences, you'd find yourself shopping for a new video card, which generally fixes the issue. What the hell "upgrade" choice do I have with my new $2000 HDTV? other than the "new and improved" $3000 model?

  • Where's the value? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by camperslo ( 704715 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:14PM (#24514361)

    This discs are expensive, the players are play-only and expensive, the players force use of a DRM'd display...

    Wake me up when I can stick a raw drive in my computer (running any display on the computer or anything it streams to around the house) for $100 or less, it can also burn discs (data only discs it won't play is fine), and the blank media is $1 a disc or less.
    I also expect playback with the OS/software of my choosing. If VLC won't work with it, it isn't what I'd hope for.

    Knowing how the industry is with DRM, I doubt I'll get what I want. I'll probably eventually settle for a read/write drive that takes affordable media and can be used for tv shows I've recorded or whatever else comes along. Looks like it'll be years before I get even that...

    I've noted that support for large HD displays is poor, life isn't that great, they're expensive and the money will only make the trade imbalance worse. So for the shorter term, a medium (24"?) display on the computer will be fine. I've heard that retailers like Best Buy have reported low than expected sales of HDTVs. Close to 20 minutes of ads an hour on over-the-air tv, and few shows that appeal to me. I wonder how many of the people struggling with debt have stopped to figure out what the total cost of a large screen HDTV with paid programs is over say a 5 year life?
    For 8 hours a day use, figure close to $10 a month just for electricity to start with....

  • Solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Conspiracy_Of_Doves ( 236787 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:16PM (#24514395)

    Forget using the Blu-Ray's massive capacity to give us better resolution. Use it to give us more content. Give us a movie and every documentary and interview that the people involved have given about the movie on a single disk. Give us an entire season of a TV series on one disk, eventually the whole series on one disk.

    The benefits in picture quality do not justify upgrading from DVD, but if they put more stuff on the disk, that just might be worth it.

  • Sheeple! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by objekt ( 232270 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:20PM (#24514479) Homepage

    When will people learn to not let big companies like Sony shove expensive proprietary formats down our throats?

    Oh, wait.

  • It's Obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <> on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:22PM (#24514527)

    People listen to MP3 files that sound like crap compared to CD-quality. But they do the job and other considerations, such as portability, are more important to consumers.

    So why is anybody surprised that the same consumers will accept less than the best for their viewing when it comes at a fraction of the cost, and with a far larger selection? There's even a market for bootleg garbage made with hand-held cameras in theatres, and DVD quality isn't too terribly bad, even compared to Blu-Ray.

    As long as one guy in the crowd has state-of-the-art equipment, the "usual gang of idiots" will wind up meeting in his basement now and again for a real kick-ass movie night with beer and everything else. For normal viewing, who needs it?

    And it will be a pretty safe bet that the guy with the small fortune in equipment is single and probably has no kids. Oh...and everybody's wives and girlfriends hate his guts.

  • by hellfire ( 86129 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `vdalived'> on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:42PM (#24514891) Homepage

    Most CEOs definitely take last years performance and use it to gauge this years performance. It's a decent gauge but they rarely take into account what possible changes there are in the market. However, if they missed a sale because they didn't try to do it, that's a CEO's fault. If they try to make that sale, and didn't, it's the market's fault because the people would not buy.

    But in truth it's the CEO's fault for mistiming the market, and misjudging the consumer. In the 90s, consumerism took off as people bought like crazy. We were riding the wave of high investment in the dot com bubble and the y2k scare. People were taking advantage of the web to create new services, and businesses were retooling their technology to make sure they were Y2K compliant. That meant plenty of jobs and jobs meant people had money to spend.

    Fast forward to Bush and jobs went from middle class white color jobs to retail walmart and burger flipping joints for minimum wage, and in the past couple of years we've been losing a lot of jobs. People don't have the money to buy large screen TVs or spend additional money when you can get a regular DVD for 5-10 in the bargain bin. If VHS was still out and movies cost $2.99, you'd see a huge amount of people buying those because that's what they could afford! DVDs are a luxury, and blu-ray is an extreme luxury. We can't afford luxuries like that.

    The middle class has a money problem, so companies have a money problem. This hasn't been something that just popped up on us, it's been coming for years. Middle class wages have not kept up with inflation, and they expect us to shell out more money for something which is a mediocre upgrade. Sony picked the absolute worst time to introduce a new format, which is funny, because they haven't been able to do anything right in the innovation sector since the walkman.

  • Quality (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TopSpin ( 753 ) * on Thursday August 07, 2008 @04:19PM (#24515687) Journal

    consumers were very happy to embrace the DVD standard when it came about because it brought a huge jump in quality over VHS

    Wrong again.

    "Consumers" prefer DVD over tape because tape, the media and the player, is unreliable, bulky, slow (remember rewind?) and ultimately more expensive than DVD. If DVD quality were exactly the same as classic VCR media consumers would have still bought into it.

    As far as this Blu-Ray vs. DVD survey result goes, I knew this and told you so some time ago []. Consumers are not *philes. Where cheap meets "just works" you will find consumers; the rest is just *phile noise.

    Anyhow, this whole debate is moot; tapes and spinning disks with die out for distributing commercial content as consumers figure out that "movies on demand" via download is cheaper and "just works" better than any other form of media.

  • by sjonke ( 457707 ) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @04:30PM (#24515881) Journal

    I was recently really into the idea of getting an HDTV, but I've decided I don't really care. For one thing, if I buy an LCD HDTV, my SD video game systems (N64, NGC, PS2), which are important to me, will look pretty crappy on it and have new-found lag, thus making them suck balls. If I buy a Plasma HDTV you have to deal with burn in and annoyances like slowly fading menus and such - that seems even worse to me. So the best option is still a tube TV and, uh, I've got one. LCD TVs suck due to pixillation and lag. Plasma TVs suck due to burn in. Tube TVs are big and heavy, and that sucks a little, but they look great and have no lag. I'll take it.

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly